SAP S/4HANA Cloud for advanced financial closing: sneak preview into the August 2022 release

Dear finance experts,

with the latest delivery of SAP S/4HANA Cloud for advanced financial closing just released on July 17, 2022, we’re already nearing the next exciting round of valuable enhancements coming on August 21! Let me give you a brief overview of what’s to come.

New app: Monitor Communication Systems

This release comes with a brand-new app that supports system admins and technology teams in their daily work. This is especially useful for customers with complex multi-ERP landscapes, such as Central Finance scenarios, where advanced financial closing is used as a centralized and cloud-based closing hub. The new app provides a high level of transparency about the status of your connected systems and helps you quickly identify the sources of any potential errors. Status information is available on an aggregated level with the option to drill down into the details:

  • Connection status: review if the connection to your communication systems is up and running. Recheck the connection on demand and view error messages.
  • Synchronization status: see if the synchronization between advanced financial closing and the connected systems was successful. Jump directly into the prefiltered list of logs in the Monitor Business Logs app.

The app also comes with a separate static role template so that access can be granted separately to specific users.

Monitor%20Communication%20Systems%20app%20with%20dynamic%20KPI%20on%20the%20tile

Monitor Communication Systems app with dynamic KPI on the tile

Monitor%20Communication%20Systems%20app%20showing%20the%20list%20of%20communication%20systems%20and%20their%20status

Monitor Communication Systems app showing the list of communication systems and their status

Detail%20view%20of%20a%20communication%20system%20and%20its%20connection%20and%20synchronization%20status

Detail view of a communication system and its connection and synchronization status

List%20of%20synchronization%20logs%20with%20the%20aggregated%20number%20of%20messages%20by%20status

List of synchronization logs with the aggregated number of messages by status

Improvements of the Manage Closing Tasks Lists app

Consistency check

You would like to have full maintenance flexibility and at the same time rest assured that your generated task lists are consistent? The current and upcoming enhancements provide just that.

The existing SOX compliance check has been extended with an additional validation, now subsumed under the term consistency check. The resulting consistency status indicates whether a task list can be generated based on the validations.

The new validation in addition to SOX consistency verifies whether tasks with approval type Pending Approval Required or Completed Approval Required have a user responsible assigned either directly on task level or by pushdown from a higher folder level.

For the September release, a further extension of the consistency check is planned that will verify whether processing users have been maintained on tasks of type job which are set to start immediately.

Closing%20structure%20of%20a%20task%20list%20template%20with%20the%20consistency%20check%20button%20and%20a%20respective%20error%20message

Closing structure of a task list template with the consistency check button and a respective error message

Adding organizational units to an existing closing structure

This feature increases flexibility and helps with typical events within the lifecycle of task list templates. If you roll out to a new subsidiary, or if you acquire a new business that needs to be added to your template, incorporating new entities into your closing process is now made easier. A wizard offers you the possible options based on the organizational unit folders that already exist in the closing structure. You can select all the required organizational units, which then get added as folders automatically.

Add%20organizational%20units%20dialog%20with%20the%20list%20of%20company%20codes%20available%20for%20selection

Add organizational units dialog with the list of company codes available for selection

Change offset: option to adjust dependent successor tasks

Since the release in May 2022, it has already been possible to perform mass changes on tasks for the offset attribute in task list templates. This functionality has now been further enhanced by the option to also adjust the dependent successor tasks accordingly. When you check this option and shift a task to a later offset, the subsequent dependency chain is automatically shifted as well.

Change%20offset%20dialog%20in%20the%20task%20list%20template%20with%20the%20option%20to%20adjust%20dependent%20successor%20tasks

Change offset dialog in the task list template with the option to adjust dependent successor tasks

Mass action for closing type

Changing the closing type of tasks is now possible in a mass-enabled quick action. The dialog combines all four closing type fields with the option to keep the existing values on fields which should not be changed. This allows you, for example, to include tasks in the quarter-end close while keeping each task’s settings for month-end, year-end, and special end close.

Another new option that can be achieved by this mass action more easily: by deselecting all closing types, you can prevent tasks from being generated into a task list altogether.

Change%20closing%20types%20dialog%20with%20the%20option%20to%20keep%20or%20replace%20existing%20values

Change closing types dialog with the option to keep or replace existing values

Improvements of the Process Closing Tasks app

Queuing

The scheduling process for jobs that run autonomously in the background has been optimized. When a job is scheduled, it’s added to a scheduling queue for the corresponding communication system. The task status is set to Scheduling in Preparation. Tasks are scheduled in the communication system according to the queue. Thanks to these innovations, the scheduling process has become even more robust and transparent.

Process%20Closing%20Tasks%20app%20showing%20a%20task%20in%20status%20Scheduling%20in%20Preparation

Process Closing Tasks app showing a task in status Scheduling in Preparation

Task status source

For business users it is very important to get a quick understanding and easy explanations of their assigned closing tasks’ status flows. In the Process Closing Tasks app, you can now easily identify from which source a job status was automatically derived.

The following task status sources are possible:

  • Application Log
  • Batch Input
  • Job Log
  • Scheduling Log
  • Application Implementation
  • Other

Process%20Closing%20Tasks%20app%20showing%20the%20detailed%20status%20information%20of%20a%20task%20including%20the%20status%20source

Process Closing Tasks app showing the detailed status information of a task including the status source

Download of Spool Lists

From conversations with some of our key customers and through submissions in our SAP Influence Portal, we have learned that business users often require searching and lookup functions that are only available in spreadsheet solutions like MS Excel when they work with result lists that were created by automated jobs. For instance, depreciation posting runs can create massive result lists that contain information and warning messages, detailed posting results and aggregated figures. These spool lists can now either be displayed as a PDF file or alternatively be downloaded as a CSV file. When the user clicks on the spool file in advanced financial closing, the system automatically streams the information from the communication system and uses a powerful converter to create either a PDF or a nicely structured CSV file. This new feature is available for the following communication system releases:

  • SAP S/4HANA Cloud
  • SAP S/4HANA 2020 SP 03 and higher
  • SAP S/4HANA 2021 SP 01 and all following releases
  • SAP ERP through the ECC Connector Add-On
    • From SP5 to SP7, correction note 3223775 needs to be implemented.

For SP8 and higher, no further manual implementation is required.

Process%20Closing%20Tasks%20app%20showing%20the%20option%20to%20download%20a%20spool%20list%20as%20PDF%20or%20CSV

Process Closing Tasks app showing the option to open a spool list as PDF or download it as CSV

Upcoming changes

Deprecation of old authorization concept

Currently, the old and new authorization concept – represented by user roles and scoped user roles respectively – exist in parallel within advanced financial closing. The old authorization concept is planned to be deprecated early next year.

Your Call to Action: Familiarize yourself with the new concept and recreate the required roles as scoped user roles to be ready for the transition and leverage all benefits of advanced financial closing. For further information see the SAP Help Portal: User Access Management (New Authorization Concept).

Introduction of consistency check for processing user

The consistency check is planned to be extended with the next release in September. The check will then also cover mandatory assignments of processing users for jobs that should start immediately. As a result, the consistency status of all existing inconsistent templates will be set to Not OK automatically.

Your Call to Action: Verify that processing users are maintained for all tasks for which the Start Immediately indicator is set. The processing user assignment can be done either on task level or on a higher hierarchy level.

Summary

The August release of SAP S/4HANA Cloud for advanced financial closing supports system administrators with increased transparency in monitoring system connections. It also makes leaps in maintenance efficiency for the accounting experts during the task list template setup. Stay tuned for further updates by following the tag #AdvancedFinancialClosing in the SAP Community and thank you very much for reading this.

For more information on SAP S/4HANA Cloud for advanced financial closing, check out the following links:

Follow us via @SAP and #AdvancedFinancialClosing, or myself via Jana Kasselmann.

 

Disclaimer

Please note that SAP S/4HANA Cloud for advanced financial closing gets frequent updates and enhancements. Therefore, the current features and functions may not be exactly as described here. For the latest information, you can refer to the product documentation on the SAP Help Portal.

Please note that the information given here or any related document and SAP’s strategy and possible future developments, products and or platforms directions and functionality are all subject to change and may be changed by SAP at any time for any reason without notice. The information in this document is not a commitment, promise, or legal obligation to deliver the functionality described here or any related material or code. Instead, the information is for informational purposes only. It may not be incorporated into a contract. SAP assumes no responsibility for errors or omissions in this document, except if such damages were caused by SAP’s intentional or gross negligence.